Advance the national-democratic revolution through people’s war amid the worsening global and domestic crisis (2013)
On the 45th anniversary of the reestablishment of the Communist Party of the Philippines on the theoretical basis of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, we celebrate the accumulated and recent victories of the Party and the Filipino people in the new democratic revolution against the ruling system of big compradors and landlords servile to US imperialism.
We are resolved to advance the new-democratic revolution on the basis of our ideological, political and organizational strength, overcome our errors and shortcomings, set forth our tasks and carry them out in order to bring about greater victories in the revolutionary struggle.
The crisis of the world capitalist system continues to protract and worsen. Consequently, the chronic crisis of the domestic ruling system continues to deepen and aggravate. The crisis conditions inflict intolerable suffering on the people and drive them to wage all forms of resistance.
In line with US design, Oplan Bayanihan aims to destroy the revolutionary movement or reduce it to inconsequence by combining the escalation of brutal military campaigns of suppression and the misrepresentation of the Aquino regime as the paragon of good governance, economic growth and the dispenser of doleouts for the poorest, especially in the guerrilla fronts.
But at this point, the dismal failure of Oplan Bayanihan is starkly clear. The people’s war continues to gain ground and grow in strength. The revolutionary forces and the people are optimistic that with relentless hard work and struggle, they can advance further from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate.
The Aquino regime is exposed and condemned by the people for serving the interests of the exploiting classes to which he belongs, for being subservient to the US imperialists, for worsening the underdeveloped character of the economy and for being corrupt by stealing public funds and taking bribes from big business.
The US imperialists and the local exploiting classes previously expected the Aquino regime to contain the revolutionary movement, harmonize the rival reactionary forces and stabilize the ruling system. But it has aggravated the socio-economic and political crisis and is pushing the people to rise up. The demand for the ouster or resignation of the Aquino regime has become extensive and sharp.
The imperialist powers headed by the US are fixated on perpetuating the neoliberal economic policy. They cling to the dogma that the maximization of private profit and the accelerated accumulation and concentration of capital in the hands of the monopoly bourgeoisie and its financial oligarchy through the reduction of the wage level, liberalization of investments, trade and finance, the privatization of state assets, deregulation of social and environmental restrictions and the denationalization of the underdeveloped countries are the way to economic growth, job creation and social satisfaction.
They obscure the fact that the capitalist system of maximizing private profits by minimizing the wage fund cannot but result in the crisis of overproduction in the real economy and that the use of credit, derivatives and financial bubbles to buoy up the economy and deliver still bigger profits to the monopoly bourgeoisie in cycles of boom and bust has limits. Amid the economic stagnation, the people in the US and other imperialist countries are outraged by the gross inequality of incomes between the upper 5% and the rest of society and the worsening conditions of poverty due to unemployment, homelessness and soaring costs of basic goods and services.
Since the financial meltdown of 2008, there has been no letup in the crisis and the deterioration of the world capitalist system despite the sporadic bounces in the financial markets. The global depression persists and the most victimized are the people of the third world. The imperialist powers have found no solution to the crisis but have aggravated it by bailing out the big bourgeoisie with public money and buoying up the assets of the big banks and corporations and further shifting the burden of crisis to the working people and the underdeveloped countries through austerity measures.
The recurrent and worsening economic and financial crises brought about by the neoliberal economic policy has profoundly undermined and weakened the US for decades. Its manufacturing base has contracted as a result of outsourcing many kinds of consumer commodities to China and a few other so-called emerging economies while focusing on the production of big items (such as telecommunications, aircraft and hightech weaponry), widening the service sector and financializing the US economy.
The crisis of the US and the world capitalist economy has taken the conspicuous form of the public debt crisis on top of the underlying problems of corporate debt and the hundreds of trillions of financial derivatives. The tax base of the imperialist states has been undermined by economic stagnation, the rise of unemployment, the continuing huge tax cuts for the corporations and the wealthy, bureaucratic corruption and high military spending.
In a futile attempt at solving the public debt crisis and rising public deficits, the imperialist states pass the burden of crisis to the people. The US federal government engages in so-called quantitative easing or printing money, while the local states conspicuously adopt austerity measures. The European Union imposes austerity measures on its member-states, especially those already openly bankrupt, such as Greece, Spain and Portugal. Austerity involves the reduction of wages and pensions, social services and public sector employment.
The US leads the imperialist powers in presuming military production to be a stimulant of the economy, in actually stepping up such production, in deploying military forces abroad and in launching wars of aggression. The US and its NATO allies openly share the position that maintaining military superiority is necessary for promoting and protecting foreign investments. At the same time, social services (such as education, health and social housing) are relentlessly being cut back.
To conceal the reality of economic depression and make it appear as mere recession albeit repetitive, the imperialist states inject public funds into the financial sector semestrally in order to create the illusion of recovery. The monopoly bourgeoisie and its financial elite cover up their responsibility for the crisis through the dominant political parties, mass media, the schools and the churches. They let loose such reactionary currents as chauvinism, racism, religious bigotry, anti-immigrant politics, anti-communism, fascism and warmongering to disable people from recognizing the capitalist roots of the crisis and the need for revolutionary class struggle.
Nevertheless, the working class and other people in the imperialist countries are resisting the rising level of exploitation and oppression, despite the attempts of the big bourgeoisie to confuse and entrap them in the electoral struggle between the barefaced reactionaries and the reformists. The workers are launching strikes and mass protests, together with the youth, women, senior citizens, migrants and refugees. The more severe the crisis, the more militant are the mass actions. Conditions are rife for the development of the revolutionary party of the proletariat and the progressive mass organizations in various sectors.
The imperialist powers always try to override contradictions among themselves by uniting against the third world countries and peoples by shifting the burden of crisis to them through intensified exploitation, privileged investments, lopsided trade, foreign currency imposition, heavier debt burden and the accelerated plunder of the natural resources and destruction of the environment. Modern imperialism has always been global in scale. But under the neoliberal policy, the main thrust of imperialist globalization is the denationalization of third world economies in violation of national sovereignty, national patrimony and the legitimate aspiration for national industrial development.
The peoples of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the socially retrogressive countries of Eastern Europe and republics of Russia are resisting the escalation of exploitation and oppression. The social unrest and political turmoil are sweeping entire continents of the world. The broad masses of the people are waging mass protests on an unprecedented scale. In a significant number of countries, revolutionary parties of the proletariat are waging people’s war for national and social liberation, such as the Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Turkey, North Kurdistan, Colombia, Peru and elsewhere.
Conditions are rife for the emergence of people’s war in more countries as the crisis protracts and worsens. The revolutionary parties of the proletariat and the people can hope to complete the struggle for national liberation and democracy and then proceed to socialist revolution only if they smash the military and bureaucratic machinery of the reactionary state. Very instructive to all revolutionaries is the way peace agreements have been used to frustrate social revolution in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Nepal and Tamil Eelam.
Certain third world states like the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria and Iran have asserted their national independence and have stood their ground against threats, provocations and sanctions imposed by the imperialists led by the US. In varying degrees, they have learned lessons from the dismal experience of states, which at first resist imperialist dictates and then compromise with the imperialists and expose their vulnerabilities for eventual subversion and aggression.
The US and NATO have installed puppet regimes and gained military bases and economic spoils in countries where they unleashed wars of aggression or engaged in military intervention. But the people there continue to resist. Armed conflicts continue in Iraq, Afghanistan, parts of Pakistan and Libya. The Balkans remain a powder keg. The so-called Arab spring in Tunisia and Egypt have succeeded in toppling authoritarians like Zine el Abadine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak and led to the ascendancy of the Salafi and Muslim Brotherhood. The US has had to install again a pro-US military ruling clique in Egypt in order to please both Israel and the Egyptian military bourgeoisie bred by the US after the Camp David sell-out by then Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in 1977.
The US and the NATO undertook the bombing campaign that disintegrated the defense structure of the Qaddafi regime and allowed the anti-Qaddafi militia groups to overthrow it. Once more with the collaboration of Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, they instigated and supplied militia groups to fight the Assad regime in Syria and schemed to unleash air assaults against it on the false allegation that it is using chemical weapons. They also calculated that the regime change in Syria would pave the way for an attack on Iran.
However, Russia and China used their veto power in the UN Security Council to block the US-NATO bombing scheme and to give way to diplomacy in working out an agreement regarding the elimination of Syria’s chemical stocks and US-NATO desistance from bombing Syria. Further on, Russia and China pushed an agreement for Iran to reduce its uranium enrichment to the level of 5% for the purpose of energy generation in exchange for the reduction of economic sanctions by the imperialist powers. As in previous cases, agreements can prevent the US and NATO from bombing an enemy state for a while. But subsequently, they can claim noncompliance with such agreements or use other pretexts to justify aggression in due time.
The worsening crisis of the world capitalist system fuels contradiction among the imperialist powers no matter how hard they try to patch up their differences and unite against the third world countries and the working people. Since China and Russia became openly capitalist and joined the ranks of major capitalist states, the room for mutual accommodation among the imperialist powers has strategically contracted.
Having inherited from their socialist background a tradition of assertive national sovereignty, a significant degree of industrialization, a high level of science and technology and nuclear weapons, China and Russia are strong entrants in the circle of imperialist powers. They cannot be made to follow US dictates without resistance or circumvention. Thus, inter-imperialist contradictions are growing over a wide range of issues: investments, trade, finance, security, spying and the environment.
China and Russia are major members of the UN Security Council, the IMF, World Bank, the WTO and the Group of 20. And yet they are the stalwarts of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), an economic bloc with a comprehensive range of products and is a huge market. They are also stalwarts of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a security arrangement which has far more population and land than the NATO. The SCO has arisen as a countervailing force to the US and NATO, especially in Asia, as a result of the overweening arrogance and aggressiveness of the US after getting support for its so-called war on terror.
During and after the years of 1989 to 1991, when the revisionist regimes openly embraced capitalism and proceeded at top speed to legalize bureaucratic loot and privatize state assets, the imperialists and their camp followers proclaimed the death of socialism. They could not imagine how China and Russia as new capitalist powers would exacerbate inter-imperialist contradictions, worsen the crisis of global capitalism and unintentionally bring about the resurgence of the anti-imperialist and socialist movements in the long run.
Even while still stuck in a number of politico-military quagmires of its own making in West Asia, Africa, Central Asia and South Asia and still facing potential armed conflicts elsewhere, the US is pivoting to Asia in an ill-disguised scheme to confront and contain China. It is rebalancing by deploying 50% of all its military and 60% of its naval forces in the Asia-Pacific region. It is using the military buildup in combination with the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (which at present excludes China) to persuade China to completely privatize its remaining state-owned enterprises and to give way to the so-called democracy movement, which requires multiparty competition in elections from the local up to the national level and ending the privileged role of the pseudo-communist party which is in fact an authoritarian bourgeois party.
The US is also taking advantage of the disputes between China and Southeast Asian countries over portions of the South China Sea as well as that between China and Japan over Diaoyu island in the East China Sea. The Kalayaan or Spratly and other islets, reefs and shoals owned by the Philippines are clearly within the 200-mile exclusive zone stipulated by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea signed by China and the Philippines. But in the case of Diaoyu islands, these belong to China because it is far closer to China than to Japan and most importantly because Japan officially acknowledged Chinese ownership of them in 1885 and annexed them as war booty in 1895, following the defeat of China in the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95. The US unjustly takes side with Japan, if only to fish in troubled waters, and has combined with Japan in challenging China’s extension of its air defense identification zone over Diaoyu islands.
The US pivot to East Asia means the further transgression of Philippine national sovereignty and territorial integrity. It involves the further entrenchment of US military forces in the Philippines and the ultimate reestablishment of the US military bases. The US is already preparing for the return of the US military bases by setting up forward stations inside and outside of the military camps of the Philippine puppet army, rotating ever larger military units, increasing frequency of comings and goings of aircraft and naval vessels and ever developing interoperability with the puppet troops and supply mobilization.
We can anticipate the increasing involvement and participation of US military forces in armed counterrevolution against the revolutionary movement of the Filipino people. The current level of US military intervention in Philippine affairs is a preparation for outright military aggression. This is concomitant to the strategic scheme of the US to have a secure base in the Philippines for undertaking military actions and maneuvers against China and other countries in the region. US strategy regards the Philippines as being in the first line of defense against China and the DPRK, backed by a deeper second line of US military forces in the Pacific Islands and Oceania.
The crisis of the world capitalist system has a destructive impact on the Philippine economy and aggravates its chronic crisis. The export of semiconductors and other low value-added semi-manufacturing products has drastically fallen. Many of the plants engaged in fringe processing and reassembly have shut down. Agricultural production is bedeviled by dumping and smuggling of rice and corn into the country and lack of support from the state, which misrepresents the smuggled staples as domestic products.
Like its predecessors, the Aquino regime is opposed to genuine land reform and national industrialization. The neoliberal economic policy continues to aggravate and deepen the underdeveloped, agrarian and semifeudal character of the economy, dominated by the imperialists, big compradors, landlords and bureaucrat capitalists.
The regime claims to have made the economy as the fastest growing with the increase of remittances of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), rise of income from the call centers and the expansion of private and public construction, mining, plantations, casinos and other tourist facilities.
The continuing increase of OFW remittances comes mainly from the Filipino nurses and caregivers in North America. Elsewhere, the crisis of global capitalism, the anti-migrant bias and social disorders have started to reduce overseas employment. Private construction is now afflicted by overcapacity and is a bubble that is bound to burst as soon as the imperialist banks raise interest rates to counter inflation and the portfolio investments (hot money) fly back to their countries of origin. Belated appropriations for public construction have been to a large extent pork barrel scams, with the public money privately pocketed, invested in upscale real estate or stashed away in foreign banks by the bureaucrat capitalists.
Foreign and domestic corporations are frenziedly engaged in mining all over the country. They practice open pit mining with heavy use of poisonous chemicals to accelerate mineral extraction to the detriment of agriculture, fishing and the environment. Mineral ores and precious metals are brought out of the country. Only token taxes are paid to the government. The plantations for the production and export of pineapple, banana, rubber and palm oil are reducing the land for staple food production and for land reform. The casinos and other tourist facilities do not spell any real economic development.
In the absence of any industrial development or rise of manufacturing, the Aquino regime boasts of having achieved an economic miracle by having the highest economic growth rate in the whole world. In fact, the so-called economic miracle is a mere bubble. The claimed growth rate of more than 7% on a GDP of US$250 billion is generated mainly by hot money in the carry trade and by wanton government borrowing and spending for nonproductive purposes. The hot money from abroad flows mainly into the stock and money markets; and at best finances the overcapacity and the bubble in private construction.
The budgetary deficit has widened because the revenue base of the reactionary government has been eroded by the actual economic depression, the privatization of earning assets, the tax cuts for the foreign investors, tax evasion by businesses and the wealthy and smuggling of goods in and out of the country; and because the tax revenues have been used to feed bureaucratic corruption, service the mounting foreign and local debt and raise appropriations for the military and other counterproductive purposes. The trade deficit has also widened because of high expenditures for the importation of luxury goods and necessities produced by other countries; and because export income has drastically declined. The reactionary government keeps on increasing the local and public debt and applying austerity measures without announcing these as such.
Whenever the Aquino regime boasts of economic growth, the broad masses of the people are outraged by the lie and by the fact that a huge part of the GDP includes the superprofit-taking operations of the multinational corporations and what the big compradors, landlords and bureaucrat capitalists grab from the social wealth that the toiling masses of workers and peasants create. They point to the rising mass unemployment, the decline of incomes, the soaring prices of fuel, food and other basic commodities, the increased charges for public utilities and social services and the visible spread of poverty, hunger and misery. Social unrest is widespread and deepening. Thus, the people are rising in mass protest. And an increasing number of people are joining the armed revolutionary movement in the countryside.
The ruling political system is the instrument of the US and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords that are represented by the bureaucrat capitalists. The bureaucrat capitalists are themselves members of the exploiting classes, like the current president B.S. Aquino who is a big comprador-landlord from the Cojuangco-Aquino dynasty. Other bureaucrat capitalists are recruited by the ruling classes from the urban petty bourgeois intelligentsia and, like their economic and political superiors, generally aspire to rise in economic and social standing and amass wealth in capital and land.
The bureaucrat capitalists amass private wealth by using their government offices for the purpose. They adopt policies and rules designed to favor their electoral campaign financiers, relatives and friends with economic privileges, and they take bribes in business contracts and use government appropriations for their private benefit. Contrary to hypocritical claims that his regime is clean and honest, Aquino has become exposed as the Pork Barrel King, using hundreds of billions of pesos of lump sum appropriations at his sole discretion to disburse for his personal gain and political patronage. One of his siblings has also been denounced by a Czech company for demanding bribes.
The Filipino people have been further outraged by the corruption of the Aquino regime with the exposure of the disappearance of calamity funds for the victims of natural disasters and with its criminal failure to make pre-disaster preparations to ensure the safety of the people and to provide timely and adequate rescue and relief to the millions of people assaulted by the monster winds of the super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) and storm surges. Thousands were killed, homes, means of livelihood and social infrastructure were destroyed and millions of people suffered from hunger, thirst, cold in the open air, lack of medicine, illness and death. Thus, the people are increasingly demanding the resignation or ouster of Aquino and his entire corrupt ruling clique.
The exposure of the plundering character and corrupt practices of the Aquino regime has unraveled the scheme of the US and most sections of the local exploiting classes to drum him up as the icon of good governance for stabilizing the ruling system and for rallying against the armed revolutionary movement of the people led by the Communist Party of the Philippines. Even the reactionary mass media which touted Aquino as a clean and well-meaning leader for more than three years have started to publish statements and articles exposing the corrupt character of his regime.
In the last elections of 2012, the Aquino regime appeared to reign supreme, riding high with the support of the media and poll survey firms and without any serious opposition from any rival bourgeois party. The ruling Liberal Party was able to coalesce with the Nacionalista Party, the Nationalist People’s Coalition, the LDP and sections of the PDP-Laban and Laban-NUCD. Even the opposition party, PDP-Laban, was seen as a fake opposition because Vice President Jejomar Binay had long been known as an Aquino protege, directly handled by an uncle of B.S. Aquino. Previous to the 2012 elections, Aquino rounded up all major reactionary parties with pork to convict Supreme Court Justice Corona.
Notwithstanding his “popularity” conjured by the reactionary media and the poll surveys, Aquino and his gang pre-determined the results of the 2012 senatorial elections by programming the 60-30-10 pattern in favor of his candidates and feeding into the automated electoral system operated by the foreign company Smartmatic and its Philippine partner Total Information Management (TIM). The electoral cheating has been proven conclusively by the highly respected computer scientists in AES Watch. It indicates how Aquino was elected not only with the financial help of big buinessmen like Eduardo Cojuangco, Lucio Tan, Manny Pangilinan and Jaime Zobel de Ayala but also with the manipulation of automated electoral system.
The automation of the electoral system has made the elections even more fraudulent and even more controlled by foreign and big comprador interests in violation of the people’s sovereignty. Automated or not, the reactionary elections are undemocratic as they include the political agents of the exploiting classes but exclude the patriotic and progressive representatives of the workers and peasants by such predetermining factors as the repressive and slanderous actions of the military and police agencies against the latter, the prohibitive costs of campaigning and the bias generated by the mass media, churches and schools. Even the party-list system that allowed the election of a handful of progressive members of Congress representing the exploited classes will now be completely overrun by the political dynasties and the reactionary parties as a result of a recent decision of the Supreme Court allowing them use of the system.
It is fine for the revolutionary movement that the reactionaries are themselves unwittingly doing everything to dispel the illusion that the reactionary elections are democratic. After all, the reactionary politicians expose their antinational and anti-democratic character as soon as they betray the people and grab the spoils of power. The entire government itself has been weakened by exposure of its pro-imperialist and reactionary character, the privatization of its earning assets under the neoliberal policy, the intolerable levies on the people already impoverished by the crisis, the reduction and deterioration of social services and runaway wastage of public funds through bureaucratic corruption, debt service and military spending.
The Aquino regime has never had any serious intention of negotiating a just peace with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. At the first formal meeting of the NDFP negotiating panel and the Aquino-appointed panel in Oslo in 2011, the latter denounced The Hague Joint Declaration as a “document of perpetual division.”
The NDFP pointed out that this is the framework agreement that has made possible more than ten major agreements, including the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). The regime has consistently refused to release NDFP peace consultants who have been arrested and detained in violation of the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees ( JASIG).
In 2012, it declared the JASIG inoperative and refused to agree to the reconstruction of the list of JASIG -protected individuals which had been destroyed by the Dutch police raids in 2007 upon the Arroyo regime’s instigation to the Dutch government to arrest the NDFP chief political consultant on false criminal charges and to raid and seize documents and electronic media and equipment from NDFP Information Office and the houses of NDFP negotiators, consultants and staffers. For this reason alone, the NDFP had the basis to terminate the peace negotiations in accordance with the JASIG but decided to extend its patience for the sake of seeking a just peace.
The Aquino regime has exposed itself as worse than the Arroyo regime in violating the CARHRIHL and committing gross and systematic human rights violations. It has refused to release the hundreds of political prisoners that the Arroyo regime imprisoned in violation of CARHRIHL, especially the Hernandez doctrine that political activists and rebels should not be criminalized and should not be accused of common crimes, instead of political offenses. The Aquino regime has proceeded to arrest suspected revolutionaries, torture and murder or detain indefinitely hundreds of them on false charges of common crimes.
It is upon US advice that the Aquino regime has continuously fouled up and considered the peace negotiations as unnecessary for so long as he can maintain the illusion of good governance and efficient delivery of services to the people and thus combine well the triad of psywar, intelligence and combat operations. This US advice is clearly spelled out in the US Counterinursurgency Guide. By way of strengthening psywar and intelligence to serve combat operations, the Aquino regime has also recycled the failed Aquino-Ramos amnesty and rehabilitation program of the past by undertaking the Conditional Cash Transfer Program and PAMANA, using bribery and intimidation to entice entire communities and even the families of revolutionaries with cash doleouts in exchange for information against the revolutionary movement.
The Aquino regime is not at all interested in peace negotiations but the capitulation and pacification of the revolutionary forces and people under the guise of “unilateral simultaneous indefinite ceasefires.” It has rebuffed the offer of the NDFP for truce and alliance or cooperation on the basis of a concise general common intent to realize and carry forward national independence, democracy, social justice, development through land reform and national industrialization, people’s culture and international solidarity. The truce and alliance or cooperation are meant to promote the accelerated negotiation of the remaining comprehensive agreements in accordance with The Hague Joint Declaration.
In view of the proven unwillingness of the Aquino regime to negotiate a just peace, the revolutionary movement does not expect the resumption of peace negotiations with the regime. It has no choice but to wait for the next regime to engage in serious negotiations. It remains to be seen whether the regime can make a final peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that does not arouse the opposition of the Moro National Liberation Front headed by Nur Misuari and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. We are optimistic that the Bangsamoro will continue to struggle for self-determination and ancestral domain so long as these are not fulfilled.
The Aquino regime is a shameless puppet of US imperialism. It allows the US military forces to violate Philippine national sovereignty and territorial integrity. It cravenly believes that the US can save the rotten semicolonial and semifedual ruling system in the Philippines. Thus, it supports the US policy of pivot to East Asia. It is poised to sign with the US the Increased Rotational Presence Framework Agreement in order to improve interoperability of personnel, units, equipment and commands under the Visiting Forces Agreement of 1997 and the US-Philippine Mutual Defense Pact of 1953.
The increased rotational presence of US military forces, the frequent comings and goings of air and naval vessels, the establishment of forward stations inside and outside of the puppet camps, the improved interoperability and joint operations of the US and Philippine military forces constitute foreign military intervention and are preparations for the reestablishment of US military bases and for aggression against the Filipino people and neighboring peoples.
But like the rotting ruling system of the Philippines, US imperialism is on a path of accelerated decline. It has outwitted itself by imposing on the world the neoliberal economic policy, weakening its manufacturing base, financializing its economy, ever increasing military expenditures and extending concessions to China and Russia for their integration in the world capitalist system. What was once the sole superpower is now one of several power centers in a multipolar world. It has overextended itself in wars of aggression to suppress countries assertive of national independence and in contention with other imperialist powers.
In this context, the Filipino people can take their own destiny into their own hands more than ever before and continue to wage the new democratic revolution through protracted people’s war. It can look forward to a near future when the proletariat and people are again dramatically rising and reasserting themselves on an ever expanding scale in a world proletarian-socialist revolution amid the decomposition of the world capitalist system and the escalating contradictions of the imperialist powers.
Under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, the Communist Party of the Philippines continues to strengthen itself as the advance detachment of the proletariat and lead the broad masses of the people in the new-democratic revolution through protracted people’s war. It continues resolutely to build itself ideologically, politically and organizationally.
It takes advantage of the protracted and ever worsening crisis of the world capitalist capitalist system and the domestic ruling system. It sees clearly that the crisis inflicts terrible suffering on the people and drives them to fight US imperialism and the local exploiting classes. It is building on its achievements over the last 45 years and it is confident of winning ever greater victories.
The Party takes pride in having led one of the world’s most important armed revolutions for national and social liberation in a period of temporary defeat and strategic retreat for the international communist movement because of the sabotage and betrayal carried out by the modern revisionists. But now, the integration of Russia and China in the world capitalist system is exacerbating inter-imperialist contradictions and the international communist movement and the broad anti-imperialist movement are resurgent. The conditions for the Philippine revolution to advance are better than ever.
In the protracted struggle to complete the people’s democratic revolution, it has been useful and encouraging for the Party to define the goal of advancing from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate in the people’s war and to rally all revolutionary forces to realize the political and other requirements for such an advance. The goal remains valid even as the plan and time scale to achieve it may be adjusted and readjusted in whole or in part in the course of struggle.
In ideological building, the Party has upheld the theory of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and has integrated it with the concrete Philippine conditions and the concrete practice of the Philippine revolution. We are opposed to subjectivism, be it of the dogmatic or empiricist type. We have produced guiding documents, books and articles on the Philippine economy, politics and culture. We continue to provide timely analysis of major events and issues in the Philippines and abroad, published these in Ang Bayan and made available in our website.
We have carried out social investigations of varying scales in all areas in connection with our revolutionary work. Our Party’s leading organs and units engage in periodic and timely assessment and evaluation of our work as a matter of course. We conduct study conferences among our Party cadres and members to sharpen our understanding of crucial issues and campaigns that need to be carried out.
Whenever we evaluate our work, we conduct criticism and self-criticism in order to understand our errors and shortcomings and rectify them and thus improve our work and style of work. We have engaged in rectification movements, such as the First and Second Great Rectification Movements and others of lesser scale but of wider scope than the criticism and self-criticism that we conduct in specific organs and units in the general course of our work .
We plan and carry out formal Party study courses at the basic, intermediate and advanced levels. We ensure that all Party candidate members finish the basic Party course within the period of candidature so that they are promptly sworn in as full Party members. They can take the intermediate Party course within the first year of Party membership and the advanced Party course within the second year. The study outlines and texts are published to enable Party units to conduct the study courses.
The study courses are meant to ensure that Party cadres and members keep on improving their theoretical knowledge and revolutionary practice; and keep on deepening their revolutionary commitment. To keep the courses lively and interesting, they are always related to history and current circumstances and to current revolutionary work. In every course, the instructors make sure that the living study of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is done in connection with problems and issues in the objective situation and in revolutionary work.
Inside and outside the Party study courses, Party cadres and members can heighten, deepen and widen their knowledge by reading and study of revolutionary publications and integrating their knowledge with their work. But many of our Party members come from the ranks of the toiling masses and have limited formal education and training in reading or have limited time to read long and complex texts. Thus our Party cadres in education are tasked to prepare simple reading materials and audio-visual aids for quicker comprehension in combination with oral discussion based on facts and experience.
Videos and other audio-visual aids are prepared to facilitate the Party study courses and the presentation of various subjects of major importance. They are interesting and educative to all Party cadres and members, irrespective of their level of formal education. The new media can be used to serve revolution in conjunction with printed materials that can be easier distributed to working people who have no access to computers and even electricity.
In political building, the Party pursues the general line of new democratic revolution through people’s war against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords. The Program for a People’s Democratic Revolution is a comprehensive instrument for arousing, organizing and mobilizing the oppressed and exploited masses. On the basis of their strength, the Party can build the people’s army and the revolutionary united front as weapons for overthrowing the semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system and establish the people’s democratic state of workers, peasants, the intelligentsia and other democratic and patriotic classes and sectors.
The Party serves as the advanced detachment of the unionized and nonunionized workers. Trade unions led by secret Party branches are the most effective in fighting for the rights and interests of the workers. They provide a good example to the workers where the unions are not led by the Party or where there are no unions yet. The Party organizes the workers in the factories as well as in the communities, together with other urban poor, to struggle for the just interests of their class as well as for the entire people’s democratic revolution.
Aware that the industry-based working class is only around 15% of the population, the Party has exerted all efforts to organize the peasant masses which comprise around 75% of the population. The peasants are the main force of the revolution. They are the inexhaustible source of strength for the people’ war. The fulfillment of their demand for land is the main content of the democratic revolution.
The patriotic and progressive youth movement has urban-based mass organizations. It fights for the rights and interests of the youth as students and out-of-school. It is aware that it can make political advances more effectively only in combination with the workers and other exploited people. It has produced leaders for other mass movements. The most advanced among them have become members of the Party and augment the ranks of proletarian revolutionaries. They have thus become more dedicated to the achievement of the people’s democratic revolution.
The women’s movement has become powerful because it is based on one half of the entire people and fights for its rights and interests within the context of the people’s democratic revolution. Women who become trained as mass activists have become leaders of various types of mass organizations and have also joined the Party. They are aware that they cannot advance in their struggle against millennia of patriarchalism without developing their collective strength through the people’s democratic revolution.
Men and women in various professional and technical occupations are drawn to the people’s democratic revolution because here they can contribute their knowledge and expertise to the people for their national and social liberation. Although they are better off economically than the exploited masses, they have their grievances and demands against the increasingly oppressive and exploitative ruling system.
Since its founding, the Party has considered the New People’s Army as the main instrument for overthrowing the ruling system and making possible the establishment of the people’s democratic state. The organization of the people’s army was facilitated by the combination of the proletarian revolutionaries from the Manila-based movements of workers and youth with the good remnants and veterans of the old people’s army in Tarlac province.
Since then, the people’s war has grown from small to big and from weak to strong by integrating revolutionary armed struggle, agrarian revolution and mass base building.
Under the leadership of the Party, the New People’s Army is now a nationwide revolutionary force operating in more than 110 guerrilla fronts, which exist in substantial portions of 71 out of 81 Philippine provinces. It has thousands of full-time Red fighters armed with high powered rifles and has a mass base of millions of people, mainly peasants benefiting from genuine land reform.
A typical guerrilla front has a total force of a guerrilla company, with a platoon serving as the headquarters, organizer of offensives on the scale of the front and cooperator with a higher command for the purpose of offensives of wider scale than the front. The two other platoons disperse into squads and teams for mass work and for combat operations appropriate to their size, capability and interoperability with the people’s militia and the self-defense units of the mass organizations. Combat capability is not limited to the full-time Red fighters but augmented and amplified by the people’s militia and self-defense units.
The enemy has repeatedly boasted that it can destroy or reduce the NPA to inconsequentiality but is always shamed soon enough. Enemy forces have so far been incapable of attacking simultaneously in concentrated strength for six months to one year on more than 10% of the guerrilla fronts. Within a typical guerrilla front, the space for maneuver is wide enough for NPA platoons and squads to launch counteroffensives against an enemy battalion that sudivides itself for covering wide areas.
Moreover, the NPA forces under a subregional (interfront) or regional command can launch counteroffensives within or outside the guerrilla front under enemy attack. When in certain regions the enemy is concentrating combat operations, the NPA in other regions can take the initiative of attacking the enemy forces in their region in order to take advantage of lesser enemy strength and in order to help the NPA in the regions under attack.
The NPA launches annihilative offensives such as ambushes, raids and arrest operations to seize the weapons of military, police, paramilitary and private security units. For attritive actions against the enemy forces, it also uses sniping operations, land mines, grenades, sapping, interdicting supplies and destroying military vehicles and fuel stocks at depots.
The NPA has in its ranks the best sons and daughters of the peasant masses because it is their own army, which enables them to benefit from land reform and other types of campaigns for their social benefit. The NPA carries out the minimum land reform program of rent reduction, elimination of usury, raising farm wages, improving the prices of farm products at the farm gate and promoting agricultural production and sideline occupations through rudimentary cooperation. As soon as allowed by circumstances, the maximum land reform program of confiscating the land and distributing them free to the landless tenants is carried out.
In times of natural disaster, the NPA and other revolutionary forces do everything they can for the purpose of rescue, relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction. In this regard, the Party goes to the extent of declaring unilateral ceasefires of varying scope in order to concentrate on work for helping the people. But the enemy forces shamelessly continue to carry out combat operations. Thus, the NPA has to be alert and ready for defense even when on ceasefire mode in the face of any impending attack.
The NPA continues to carry out extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever widening and deepening mass base. The Party within the NPA unit and the Party in the localities make sure that the mass base is developed in support of the NPA and as a bastion of political struggle against the reactionary and puppet forces. Mass organizations of workers, peasants, youth, women, cultural activists and children are built and strengthened. They also support and assist the local organs of political power which the Party leads.
The organs of political power in the countryside are established at the barrio, sub-municipal and municipal levels. Appointive organs of political power established by the unit of the NPA in the barrios precede the elective barrio revolutionary committees (BRC). The appointive organs of political power at the barrio level are tasked with hastening the full development of the different revolutionary mass organizations in the barrio, the building of units of the people’s militia, and undertaking antifeudal mass struggles and other mass campaigns of the people. The BRC is elected by the representatives of the mass organizations or an assembly of the people, depending on the security situation. They are established in clusters of barrios and can soon be followed by the establishment of the sub-municipal organs of political power or by the municipal organs of political power. The local organs of political power are formed along the line of the united front.
The policy of the united front is followed by the National Democratic Front and the people’s democratic government from the national level to every lower level. In representation of the united front, the Party leads the united front and makes sure that it is based on the worker-peasant alliance and is for the revolutionary armed struggle. It can combine the toiling masses and the urban petty bourgeoisie to form the alliance of basic revolutionary forces and further combine these with the middle bourgeoisie to form the alliance of patriotic forces. It can further make temporary and unstable alliances with sections of the reactionary classes to isolate and destroy the most reactionary section.
The Party organizational structure extends to all types of workplaces, communities, mass organizations and institutions and draws new Party members from them. It recruits those who have manifested revolutionary commitment and militancy and who accept the Party Constitution and Program for a People’s Democratic Revolution. Each recruit is recommended by a full Party member to the Party branch or committee concerned, which in turn, assigns another full Party member to verify the personal character and level of consciousness and commitment of the recommendee. After the aforesaid process, the branch or committee concerned can approve the status of candidate member and takes charge of developing the subject to become a full Party member within the stipulated period of candidature.
The Party can deploy and redeploy Party cadres and members in order to advance the work of the Party and the revolutionary movement. The NPA and the countryside are ever in need of Party cadres and members who are workers and educated youth.
Their integration may be facilitated in various ways. The most important consideration is that they are determined to stay indefinitely with the NPA or in the countryside where their competencies are needed.
The Party enjoys high prestige in the international communist movement and broad anti-imperialist movement because it has continued to lead successfully the people’s democratic revolution in an archipelagic country, which is supposed to be in the tight grip of US imperialism and its rabid puppets, despite the global sway of neoliberalism, the full restoration of capitalism in former socialist countries and the reign of neocolonialism in third world countries. The Party has demonstrated that the people’s democratic revolution through protracted people’s war has continued to grow in strength and advance with Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as its powerful guide.
Among the millions of Filipinos who have left for work abroad because of underdevelopment and poverty in the Philippines are members of the Communist Party of the Philippines and activists of the national democratic movement. They have been among those most resolute and militant in fighting for the rights and interests of overseas Filipino workers. They have been active in developing the solidarity of the Filipino people with the peoples in many countries. They have readily joined activities of the working class and the broad anti-imperialist movement in their host countries.
In closing, we wish to stress a number of tasks:
- Let us do our best to cause the ouster of the Aquino regime or compel Aquino’s resignation from his office because of puppetry to US imperialism, corruption, electoral fraud, grave human rights violations, mismanagement of pre-disaster preparations and disaster aid, mendacity, unrestricted mining, logging, landgrabbing and other forms of destroying the environment. We consider our efforts to remove Aquino from power as part of the process of strengthening the revolutionary movement and overthrowing the entire ruling system for the purpose of realizing fully the Program for a People’s Democratic Revolution and proceeding to the socialist revolution. As proven in the overthrow of Marcos and Estrada, it is possible for the legal mass movement to drive the overthrow of Aquino. Even if this would not succeed, the movement would still be strengthened and will further cause the US-Aquino regime to fail in its brutal attempt to destroy the armed revolution of the people.
- Let us further strengthen the Communist Party of the Philippines ideologically, politically and organizationally. We must ensure that the Philippine revolution is led by the revolutionary proletariat in the current stage of the people’s democratic revolution and in the subsequent stage of the socialist revolution. The effective leadership of the Party is the most important political requirement for the current plan of advancing from the strategic defensive to the strategic stalemate in our protracted people’s war. We must train and develop big numbers of capable cadres in the different lines of work, improve the collective leadership and style of work of Party committees, revitalize the Party system of regular and special reports, and strengthen the Party organization based on the principles of democratic centralism. We must strive to bring the number of our Party members to 250,000. Such organized strength of ideologically committed and politically competent Party members will give us the capability to perform all necessary tasks for advancing the revolution.
- We must continue to intensify the offensives of the New People’s Army. We must wage battles to wipe out enemy units and seize their weapons. This is the way to strengthen the people’s army for the purpose of overthrowing the reactionary state. We must increase the number of our Red fighters to 25,000, no matter how long it takes to do so. We must be good at frustrating and defeating the enemy forces wherever they attack, attacking them at their weak points of deployment and their supply lines, dismantling the mining, plantation and logging enterprises that violate the laws of the people’s government and compelling enemy forces to take guard duty and be on the defensive. We have succeeded in preserving and increasing the people’s army nationwide by following the strategic line of protracted people’s war: encircling the cities from the countryside until we have accumulated the armed strength to seize the cities and achieve total victory.
- We must persevere in our current tactical line of extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare on the basis of an ever widening and deepening mass base. We must be skillful at using the tactics of concentration, dispersal and shifting for defeating enemy forces in a war of fluid movement. In order to reach the strategic stalemate, we must strive to reach the goal of more or less 200 guerrilla fronts, while always improving the Party leadership and army commands at the national, regional, subregional and front levels. We must always integrate the armed struggle with agrarian revolution and mass base building. We must build the mass organizations of various types and the organs of political power. They should generate the land reform campaign and other social campaigns and build local defense forces (people’s militia and self-defense units) to augment and amplify the strength of the people’s army.
- We must apply the policy of united front in the mass movement and in building the organs of political power at every level. The united front is under the leadership of the Party and is mainly for armed struggle. The National Democratic Front is the embodiment of the united front of the Party, NPA and all other revolutionary forces. It propagates the line of people’s democratic revolution. It harmonizes the relations of the revolutionary classes and their forces within its organized framework and develops alliances with other forces in a broader united front. It is authorized to engage in peace negotiations with the reactionary government and is guided by the line of seeking national liberation, democracy, social justice, real development, protection of the environment and solidarity of peoples as the basis of a just peace. There is no point in making any peace agreement without these objectives.
- Let us continue having a positive view of all legal forces that seek to attain such objectives as those of the NDF and welcome their campaigns and activities. We appreciate that they also pursue the united front for the purpose of arousing, organizing and mobilizing the people in their millions to fight for their rights and interests. We condemn the brutal policy of the enemy towards organizations and activists that uphold, defend and promote the rights and interests of the workers, peasants, fishermen, urban poor, women, youth, indigenous people, teachers, journalists, scientists and technologists, health workers, lawyers and other professions as well as those who focus on good causes and advocate land reform, human rights, peace, environmental protection and so on. We encourage all social activists to hold their ground and fight for their rights. At the same time, we welcome to the revolutionary underground and the people’s army those who are in danger of death and imprisonment and decide to join the armed struggle.
- The Party is guided by the principle of proletarian internationalism and works for the rebuilding of the international communist movement as well as the further strengthening of the broad anti-imperialist movement. We consider these movements of great importance in the face of the protracted and ever worsening crisis of the world capitalist system, the escalation of oppression and exploitation and the unleashing of wars of aggression by the imperialist powers. We must contribute to and support the resurgence of proletarian revolutionary parties and the anti-imperialist movement. We must raise the level of common understanding and practical cooperation through bilateral and multilateral meetings and other activities. In the course of our solidarity relations with revolutionary and progressive forces and peoples abroad, we must promote the rights and interests of overseas Filipino workers and we must encourage the Filipinos in the motherland and abroad to unite with all other peoples in fighting for and building a fundamentally new and better world free from the scourge of imperialism and all reaction.